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Tai Tokerau not for dummies

Tai Tokerau not for dummies

Maori Party Candidate for Te Tai Tokerau Waihoroi Shortland says, “Feeding the children is an admirable sentiment, but Hone Harawira and Mana are turning it into a fraudulent assault on our sensibilities”.

Shortland says, when Mana takes two highly emotive issues like withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and feeding the children as if they were contiguous and would serve a common good, then it ought to be exposed for the bumpkin that it is.

40 million dollars may in fact be the cost of keeping troops in Afghanistan but 38 million isn’t going to go far in Hone’s grand scheme of feeding 176 thousand children in decile 1 -5 schools, 2 meals a day for 200 hundred school days a year. That works out to 55cents a meal per child.

“I know some of Hone’s followers consider him a prophet”, says Mr Shortland, “but even he is going to struggle to turn that pretty significant cost factor into the miracle of the ‘two fishes and five loaves of bread”.

The Maori Party believes it is not the schools responsibility to be feeding our children. We need to support whanau to build strong and enduring initiatives that invest in the wellbeing of children. Then the government can find its own way to support whanau to eliminate poverty.

Then there is Mana’s housing policy where they would build 20,000 new houses over three years. Even at the modest cost of 150 thousand dollars per home that would be a billion dollars per year without factoring in the cost of the land or the extra 110,000 tradesmen needed to do the job. Once again laudable sentiments but short on delivery and if they aren’t questioned, escape scrutiny.

One of the Maori Party’s housing initiatives is to devolve state housing to Maori and Pasifika Community groups for whanau to purchase their own homes including a rent to own scheme.

Like the rest of Mana’s policies as Hone Harawira often claims, they are simple, probably because simpletons are devising them, says Waihoroi Shortland. They will find out shortly that dummies do not populate Te Tai Tokerau.


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